Coalition government backs real terms NHS funding rises

NHS funding will continue to rise in real terms, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition pact makes clear.

Cameron and Clegg in coalition government
Cameron and Clegg in coalition government

Terms of the deal, published on Wednesday, reveal that ‘the parties agree that funding for the NHS should increase in real terms in each year of the parliament, while recognising the impact this decision would have on other departments'.

Protecting NHS funding was a key pre-election commitment from the Tories, but the Liberal Democrats refused to ring-fence any department's funds.

The document scotches speculation that the Tory pledge would be dropped.

Commenting on the coalition government and the appointment of Conservative Andrew Lansley as health secretary, BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: ‘We look forward to working constructively and positively with the new health secretary, and his ministerial team, to discuss how the BMA can assist with the development of health policies that will maintain and improve the quality of patient care, a difficult task given that the NHS will be facing serious financial pressures.

'There are extremely difficult decisions ahead and more than ever, we need a period of stability and a working environment that encourages partnership and co-operation. There is intense pressure to make savings, but cutting clinical staff or frontline services would be not only short-sighted, but could also cause irreparable damage to the NHS.'

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